While Kullervo represents just the confident first step in Sibelius?s symphonic odyssey, it is also a viscerally exciting experience on its own terms?little wonder the first performance in 1892 was such a triumph for the young composer. An unmissable acquisition for anyone who knows only the numbered symphonies.
Every unorthodox texture, ostinato and accompaniment makes its mark…It’s good to have a focused, youthful chorus, in the shape of men from Sweden’s Lund University, rather than the usual wall of sound…Kullervo may not have triumphed, but the Scots and their Danish chief conductor absolutely do here. BBC *****
Not the least of its many virtues is the enthusiastic, scrupulously prepared and rhythmically spry contribution of the BBC Scottish SO…Plaudits, too, for Dausgaard’s purposeful, keen-eared direction, some shrewdly chosen tempos ensuring that Sibelius’s daringly ambitious scheme unfolds with impressive cumulative power…All told, a hearty welcome to this fresh-faced newcomer. Gramophone